|By Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News, N.Y.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
And while Rep.
The two local congressional races, one in a heavily Democratic urban district and the other in the
Perhaps most notably, the campaign finance reports show that Weppner -- who for years won a loyal audience on WBEN as the conservative "Kathy from
Weppner has raised
Add it all up, and Weppner had
Asked about her fundraising totals, Weppner downplayed the importance of money in the race.
"After interacting with thousands and thousands of Western New Yorkers, your assumption that this election will simply be won with money is questionable based on my conversations with most voters," she said. "Voters tell me that
Weppner also appeared to be offended that anyone was asking about her campaign finances.
"I find it very strange that with the humanitarian crisis at our border, our Marine sitting in a jail in
"It's not terrible if you compare it to some other people who have run for this seat," Langworthy said. "It's an uphill slog. This race is not on any target lists, so that eliminates PAC (political action committee) donations."
O'Donnell's uphill slog
It's an uphill slog, too, for O'Donnell, who is challenging incumbent Collins, the
There's a reason for that paltry figure.
"I'm a police officer, so it's a misdemeanor for me to ask for money," O'Donnell said, referring to state law that prohibits police officers from asking for contributions.
Of course, asking for money ranks somewhere between breathing and eating as a time-consuming pastime for modern politicians, so O'Donnell's inability to do so puts him at a grave disadvantage to Collins.
For that reason, Rep.
"I'm not going to be able to run all the commercials you would usually see for a race like this, but I'm going to make up for that with good old-fashioned door-to-door work and putting a lot of miles on my F-150," O'Donnell said.
And if he wins, O'Donnell plans to introduce legislation reforming campaign finance laws. "How wonderful would it be if our legislators all spent all of their time legislating instead of fundraising," he said.
For now, though, there is no such law, which raises the question: Why did the
"We knew that this was going to be a hindrance, but you have to go with what you've got," said Erie County Democratic Chairman
Set up for success
Then again, Higgins and Collins seem to be enjoying the perfect scenario for their coming campaigns. Both incumbent lawmakers have plenty of cash on hand to battle their underfunded opponents.
Many of the region's business and community leaders have donated to the
Higgins now represents a deep blue district centered in
"The Higgins for
Meanwhile, Collins has raised
While Higgins and Collins' fundraising totals may seem high, they're actually far lower than the
Given that paying back that loan would leave Collins with only
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